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Viewing: MUSC 053 C1: Music in Troubled Places

Last approved: Tue, 02 Oct 2018 19:50:29 GMT

Last edit: Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:14:30 GMT

First Name Last Name Userid Title Home School Org Short Name
Jim Sykes jimsykes ASST PROFESSOR A School of Arts and Sciences Music
MUSIC
053
Spring 2019
Fall 2018
Music in Troubled Places
In this class, we go beyond the headlines to discuss the history and cultures of peoples who have had to endure terrible suffering, particularly through ethnic conflict and civil war. We will focus on a curious phenomenon: populations typically defined as separate from one another (e.g., Israelis and Palestinians) often have a history of shared or related cultural practices, of which music is a prime example. We will survey a number of current and recent conflict zones and use music as a way to deepen our understanding of the identities and relationships between the peoples involved--including through a consideration of my own fieldwork in Sri Lanka. Querying the very definitions of "music," "trouble," and "place" course then broadens out to consider how musicians have been affected by and/or responded to important global problems like slavery, sexual violence, climate change and other ecological disasters, like Hurricane Katrina. Regions to be considered in our lectures and/or readings include: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria (including Kurdish musics), Israel-Palestine, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Myanmar/Burma, Uganda, Sierra Leone, North and South Korea, the Marshall Islands, Cambodia, Mexico, and the United States.
ANTH 053 - Music in Troubled Places
NELC 054 - Music in Troubled Places
Every Other Year

Foundational Approach

Course not offered every year
Cross Cultural Analysis
 
 
Standing Faculty
Standing Faculty
 
 

Methods of Assessment

One large final paper; two smaller assignments.
Midterm and final exam.
 

Cross Cultural Analysis

 
From the syllabus: "In this class, we go beyond the headlines to discuss the history and cultures of peoples who have had to endure terrible suffering, particularly through ethnic conflict and civil war. We will focus on a curious phenomenon: populations typically defined as separate from one another (think: Israelis and Palestinians) often have a history of shared or related cultural practices, of which music is a prime example. We will survey a number of current and recent conflict zones and use music as a way to deepen our understanding of the identities and relationships between the peoples involved—including through a consideration of my own fieldwork in Sri Lanka. Querying the very definitions of “music,” “trouble,” and “place,” the course also broadens out to consider how musicians have been affected by and/or have responded to important global problems like slavery, sexual violence, and ecological disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina. Regions to be considered in our lectures and/or readings include: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria (including Kurdish musics), Israel-Palestine, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Myanmar/Burma, Uganda, Sierra Leone, North and South Korea, the Marshall Islands, Cambodia, Mexico, and the United States. While covering political and social ills, the course nevertheless provides students with perspectives on everyday life and traditional culture in places (like Afghanistan and Myanmar) that are rarely considered in the U.S. mainstream media."

In each session of the course, we not only focus on political problems, we focus on human and communal perspectives through examining the musics of a particular culture.
 
This is a music course, but we also discuss issues pertaining to religion (i.e. Islam and Hinduism) and the ways that institutions and transnational actors have interacted with and affected musicians in 'troubling' situations (such as in warzones). We discuss longstanding musical genres that bring together all these categories - for example, the genre called "Iraqi maqam".
 
We do not just focus on musical structures in this class - we focus on music history and on the plight of musicians in conflict situations. The second half of the course switches focus from war to how musicians are affected by and engaging important global issues, such as climate change. So musicians are the focus, set within broader sociopolitical contexts.
 
We will read work in music and sound studies, anthropology, and history that help students think about important global issues from personal and social perspectives, especially those affected negatively by such problems.

Cultural Diversity in the US

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Quantitative Data Analysis

None
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Formal Reasoning

 
 
 
 
 
 

Administrative Fields

 
 
College Curriculum Committee
Committee Reader
jbehrman
Dustin Brisson
 
 
Key: 805